Roland Kirk – Gifts & Messages (Full Album)

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Gifts & Messages is an album by jazz multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk. It was originally released on the Mercury label in 1964 and features performances by Kirk with Horace Parlan, Michael Fleming, and Steve Ellington.

AllMusic Review by Rovi Staff:
While this 1964 set is less renowned than its immediate follow-ups (I Talk with the Spirits and Rip Rig & Panic), it’s one of the most straightforward hard bop sessions recorded by Roland Kirk (he added the “Rahsaan” in 1969) during his mid-’60s tenure at Mercury Records. As usual, Kirk plays between one and four reeds at a time throughout Gifts & Messages, his carefully thought-out yet often abandoned solos approaching free jazz at times. The assured hard bop of his backing trio, pianist Horace Parlan, bassist Michael Fleming and drummer Steve Ellington, does nothing to restrain Kirk’s wilder fancies. The three are able to keep up with even his most outre offerings, such as “Vertigo Ro” and “Hip Chops,” and are equally adept at the classically structured “March of Swan Lake” and the gentle “Petite Fleur.” (

Track listing:
All compositions by Roland Kirk except where noted.

“The Things I Love” (Lew Harris, Harold Barlow) – 3:12
“Petite Fleur” (Sidney Bechet) – 3:10
“March On, Swan Lake” (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky arranged by Roland Kirk) – 3:57
“Tears Sent By You” (Michael Fleming) – 5:59
“My Heart At Thy Sweet Voice” (Camille Saint-Saëns arranged by Roland Kirk) – 3:21
“Gifts And Messages” – 4:06
“Hip Chops” – 3:33
“Blues For C & T” – 3:06
“Where Does The Blame Lie” – 2:49
“Vertigo Ro” – 4:07

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA on July 22, 1964

Roland Kirk – tenor saxophone, manzello, stritch, flute, siren
Horace Parlan – piano
Michael Fleming – bass
Steve Ellington – drums

Released: 1964
Recorded: July 22, 1964
Label: Mercury